Our Place Cast Iron Pan Review: In the world of culinary craftsmanship, the choice of cookware can be just as important as the ingredients themselves. A versatile and reliable cast iron pan is often considered a must-have tool for any home cook. Our Place, a brand known for reimagining kitchen essentials, has entered the cast iron arena with their "Our Place Always Pan." In this comprehensive review, we'll take an in-depth look at the Our Place Cast Iron Pan, exploring its design, performance, durability, and value for money. By the end of this article, you'll have all the information you need to decide whether this pan deserves a spot in your kitchen.
The Our Place Brand
Before diving into the specifics of the Our Place Cast Iron Pan, let's briefly introduce the brand itself. Our Place is a direct-to-consumer cookware and kitchenware company that has gained popularity for its mission-driven approach. Their products often combine functionality, aesthetics, and social consciousness, aiming to transform your cooking experience while also supporting social causes.
Design and Aesthetics
One of the first things that stand out about the Our Place Cast Iron Pan is its striking design. Unlike traditional cast iron pans, which can be quite heavy and utilitarian in appearance, this pan exudes a modern and minimalist charm. Available in a range of appealing colors, from spice to steam, it's sure to add a touch of sophistication to your kitchen.
The Always Pan boasts an ergonomic handle that provides a comfortable and secure grip, even when the pan is filled to capacity. The lid handle is designed similarly, making it easy to handle without the need for oven mitts. Additionally, the pan's sloped sides and shallow depth contribute to its aesthetic appeal while also making it easier to cook and flip ingredients.
Construction and Materials
The Our Place Cast Iron Pan is made from high-quality cast iron, renowned for its excellent heat retention and even distribution. Cast iron pans are known for their longevity, and when properly cared for, they can last for generations. Our Place takes this durability a step further by adding a naturally non-stick surface.
The interior of the Always Pan is coated with a non-toxic, non-stick ceramic material, which is free from harmful chemicals like PFOA, PTFE, and PFAs. This coating not only makes cooking and cleaning a breeze but also sets it apart from traditional cast iron pans that require seasoning and can be more prone to sticking. The non-stick ceramic surface also reduces the amount of oil or fat needed for cooking, making it a healthier option.
Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of how the Our Place Cast Iron Pan performs in the kitchen.
Heat Retention and Distribution: The cast iron material excels at heat retention, ensuring that your food stays hot even after it's taken off the burner. It also distributes heat evenly across the surface, preventing hot spots and allowing for uniform cooking.
Non-Stick Properties: The ceramic non-stick coating lives up to its promise. Eggs slide off effortlessly, pancakes flip without sticking, and delicate fish fillets remain intact. This non-stick surface is a game-changer for those who want the benefits of cast iron without the hassle of seasoning and sticking issues.
Versatility: The Always Pan isn't just a one-trick pony. Its versatility shines through in various cooking techniques, from searing and frying to sautéing and simmering. The sloped sides make tossing and flipping ingredients a breeze, and the ample cooking surface accommodates a variety of recipes.
Easy to Clean: Cleaning this cast iron pan is a breeze. Unlike traditional cast iron, you won't have to worry about scrubbing off stuck-on food. A gentle wash with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge is usually all that's needed. The non-stick surface ensures minimal residue.
Compatibility: The Our Place Cast Iron Pan is compatible with all cooktops, including induction. It's also oven-safe up to 500°F (260°C), which means you can start a dish on the stovetop and finish it in the oven without needing to transfer it to another pan.
Lid Functionality: The included lid is a valuable addition. It helps trap heat and moisture, making it ideal for braising and simmering. Additionally, the lid handle is designed to securely hold a wooden spoon or spatula, preventing it from slipping into your food.
Size and Capacity: With a 10-inch diameter and a 2.7-inch depth, this pan has a generous capacity that's suitable for preparing meals for a family or a small gathering.
As mentioned earlier, cast iron pans are known for their durability, and the Our Place Cast Iron Pan is no exception. With proper care, this pan is built to last a lifetime. The non-stick ceramic coating is also designed to withstand regular use and is backed by a warranty to ensure long-term satisfaction.
However, it's important to note that the ceramic coating may wear down over time, especially if abrasive utensils or harsh cleaning methods are used. To maximize the lifespan of the non-stick surface, it's recommended to use wooden or silicone utensils and avoid high heat settings.
Value for Money
The Our Place Cast Iron Pan is competitively priced when compared to other high-end cast iron options on the market. While it may be pricier than basic cast iron pans, it offers several unique advantages that justify the investment:
Non-Stick Convenience: The ceramic non-stick surface eliminates the need for seasoning and minimizes the use of cooking oils, providing long-term savings.
Versatility: Its versatility can replace multiple pans in your kitchen, saving both money and storage space.
Aesthetics: The pan's stylish design and color options add aesthetic value to your kitchen.
Social Impact: Purchasing from Our Place not only elevates your cooking experience but also supports the company's mission-driven initiatives.
Comparison with Traditional Cast Iron Pans
To provide a more comprehensive perspective, it's essential to compare the Our Place Cast Iron Pan to traditional cast iron pans:
Non-Stick Properties: Traditional cast iron pans require seasoning to achieve non-stick properties, while the Our Place pan comes pre-seasoned with a ceramic coating.
Ease of Cleaning: Cleaning traditional cast iron pans can be more labor-intensive, often requiring scrubbing and re-seasoning. The Our Place pan is easier to clean due to its non-stick ceramic surface.
Weight: Traditional cast iron pans tend to be heavier, which can make handling and storage more challenging for some users. The Always Pan is lighter and more user-friendly.
Price: Traditional cast iron pans may come at a lower price point initially, but the Our Place Cast Iron Pan offers additional features and convenience that justify the price difference.
Versatility: The sloped sides and non-stick surface of the Our Place pan make it more versatile for a wide range of cooking techniques.
Maintenance and Care
To ensure the longevity of your Our Place Cast Iron Pan, here are some maintenance and care tips:
Seasoning: While the ceramic non-stick coating eliminates the need for traditional seasoning, it's still a good practice to oil the pan lightly after each use to maintain its non-stick properties.
Cleaning: Wash the pan with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid abrasive scrubbers and harsh cleaning agents that can damage the ceramic coating. Dry the pan thoroughly after washing to prevent rust.
Storage: Store the pan in a dry place to prevent rust. If stacking multiple pans, place a soft cloth or paper towel between them to protect the ceramic coating.
Utensils: Use wooden, silicone, or plastic utensils to prevent scratching the ceramic surface.
Avoid Extreme Heat: While the pan is oven-safe, avoid using it under a broiler or exposing it to extreme heat as it may damage the ceramic coating.
The Our Place Cast Iron Pan, also known as the Always Pan, offers a unique blend of style, convenience, and functionality. Its striking design, non-stick ceramic coating, and versatility make it a standout choice for both experienced and novice cooks. While it comes at a higher price point than traditional cast iron pans, the added features and ease of use justify the investment.
Moreover, purchasing from Our Place supports a brand with a social conscience, making your cooking experience even more meaningful. If you're looking for a cast iron pan that combines the best of tradition and innovation, the Our Place Cast Iron Pan is a worthy addition to your kitchen arsenal. With proper care, it's a culinary companion that will serve you well for years to come.